The Ultimate Guide to the Caribbean Islands Everything you Need to Know and Caribbean Travel Warnings
I love the Caribbean, this is where my family is from on my dads side Trinidad and Tobago and my mothers side Guyana. I have been there on cruises, and direct to the countries in hotels. The culture here is so different than in the US and Canada as it is vibrant with life, love and music. I’m not sure what it is about these islanders, but although many of them are poor they are still so happy. It could be the weather or the chilled out island feel, or it could be just being surrounded by happy people. The Caribbean is one of the most beautiful places on the planet with white sand beaches and crystals clear blue water.
There are 700 islands here to explore and they are all diverse. The Caribbean is not only known for it beauty but also the amazing gastronomy of these different countries, as well as music and carnivals. Below you will find the most detailed list of Caribbean islands on the internet, and if you read to the end all of the common questions about the Caribbean. Please comment below if you have anything to ad to this as we want to help our readers easily get the info they need.
List of 31 Caribbean islands | Caribbean Countries
Antigua is located north of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. It is a mid sized island in the west indies comprised of native, West Indian, and African people. There are 2 main islands in Antigua that are Antigua island and Barbuda. The majority of the population being on Antigua. Some of the best things to do on Antigua are the Antigua Carnival, Sailing, Fishing, Diving and lounging. The beaches in Antigua are amazing with fine white sand and clear blue water. There are a few all inclusive resorts on Antigua, but most of the hotels are pay and stay.
Bermuda is located to the north of the main Caribbean stretch of island on the Atlantic ocean. The capital city is Hamilton and this is where the majority of the population resides. Bermuda is famous for its pink sand beaches made from finely crushed coral at elbow beach and horseshoe bay. These places have been made famous by instagrammer’s and other social media. Bermuda is also known for the infamous Bermuda triangle that spans between Puerto Rico, Florida and Bermuda. Bermuda has lush green forests, and clear blue water. Great for diving and snorkelling.
The Bahamas is a favourite cruise ship stop, this is one of the top Caribbean island to visit as there is a lot to do here. The Bahamas is made up of 700 distinct island, however the majority of the population and the main airport and cruise fort is in the Grande Bahama island. Some of the top things to do in the Bahamas are to visit Atlantis, here you will see a giant beachfront waterpark, yacht dock, casino and aquarium. There is also one of the best beaches on the island here.
The Junkaroo festival is their popular carnival and happens every year on boxing day and new years day. There are islands some really neat and popular island beaches in the Bahamas including a beach where you can swim with pigs, a flamingo beach and a shark swim. Instagrammer’s often visit these popular locations
Read the Bahamas Travel Plan
Barbados is a south eastern Caribbean island known for their beautiful beaches and of course the singer Rihanna! The people are referred to a Baijan, however this is an english speaking country. Barbados is known for their sailing and diving as well as the marathons that happen on the island. Barbados is well developped and have luxury resorts and tons of restaurants and entertainment. There are festivals and events year round. Barbados also has a cruise port in the capital city of Bridgetowne.
Read The Barbados Travel Plan
Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago are a dual island Caribbean country populated mostly by West Indians and Creole people. Tobago is famous for its beautiful beaches and luxury resort. A ferry to Tobago from the main island of Trinidad is inexpensive, so most people travelling here do both islands. The capitol city in Trinidad is called Port of Spain and is the most populated place in the country. Trinidad is famous for their massive carnival that brings in crowds and celebrities from all over the world. They have a rich culture of music and dance. If you are a foodie, you will love Trinidad as there are street side vendors selling things like curry, roti, doubles, and other delights. Trinidad has great fishing and scuba diving.
Read the Trinidad & Tobago Travel Plan
Although Guyana is not an actual Island, it is a large country in the Caribbean sandwiched between the Pacific ocean and the Amazon Rainforest. This country is not known for its beaches as much of the country is below sea level. They are known for eco tourism as the Amazon rainforest and the ocean around this country are rich. Guyana is located in south America at the northernmost point above Brazil. The capital city is called Georgetown, and this is where the majority of the population lives. The main sites to see in Guyana are Giftland mall, Kaiture falls, The amazon rainforest, and Orinduik falls.
The people of Guyana are mixed between west indian, African and native Guyanese. Guyanas main sport is cricket and they have a newer stadium here where pro teams play. Guyana has world class fishing and hunting and is one of the few places on earth where there native tribes in the jungle that are totally cut off to modern civilization. My family is from Guyana and it is safe for tourists, however it is a poor country so you do have to be careful here for scams. The music is also very mixed with Calypso, Hindi, Reggae, and soca. The main industries in Guyana are mining and agriculture.
Belize is located on the east coast of central America. One side of the country is beaches and ocean and the other is rich rainforest. There are lakes and rivers scattered all around Belize, making it great for freshwater fishing or ocean fishing. The huge reef called the Belize barrier reef around the island offering amazing scuba diving and snorkelling. There are caves and ruins to explore in Belize, and you can even swim with whale sharks here!
Cuba is the closest Caribbean island to the southernmost point of the United States. It is a spanish country best known for Cuban cigars, and the Cuban missle crisis. The capital city is Havanna and is full of clubs, restaurants and vendors. The best tourist beach are here is called Varadero. The last time we were here we stayed in Varadero, we rented a scooter and did a bunch of touring ourselves such as swimming in caves, dining in caves, partying with the locals and beach hopping. The resorts are mostly all inclusive here and reasobly priced. There are small islands you can visit for day trips that offer great snorkelling or diving. You can even swim with the dolphins right in the ocean here.
Is a volcanic island best known for its eco-tourism and banana exports. The country is comprized most of creole Caribbean culture but also has a small native population. Because it is volcanic here, there are natural hot springs and even hot lakes here. It is a mountaneous country with great hiking, scuba diving and snorkelling. There are some really popular waterfall hikes here including Emerald falls! The capital of Dominica is Roseau. And the main language is Creole French.
The Dominican Republic, not to be confused with Dominica is a Spanish speaking country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. They are on the east side of the island. The capital city here is Santa Domingo, and this is where the major part of the population lives. The country is know for their spectacular white sand beaches, scuba diving and fishing. They also have an amazing music and dance scene here and have a large carnival every year. It is the second largest Caribbean country and is only 2 hours from Miami Florida. The food here is amazing and so is the hospitality.
Jamaica is beautiful, it is a lushly forested mountain region with amazing white sand beaches and crystal clear water. The capital is Kingston although this is not where most tourist stay. The cruise ships come in and take you to famous Montego bay where you will find great restaurants and beaches. Ocho Rios and Negril are other popular places to stay in Jamaica. The people of Jamaica are mostly Creole Caribbean and are hospitable to tourist as this is one of the main industries here. Jamaica is known for reggae music, marijuana smoking and chill out vybez. I’ve been to Jamaica a handful of times and it was great for myself, and my kids.
My last time there we stayed at an all inclusive in Montego bay. The food, resort ad service was top notch. Be careful if you are going into the cities as they are highly populated and there are scammers and pick pockets here trying to make a buck. Also be extra careful buying marijuana here, the people offer it to you all over the place but it is illegal. I saw one person get arrested trying to take weed onto the cruise ship and they were instantly arrested and the cruise ship left them in Jamaica.
Read the Jamaica Travel Plan
There are 3 islands that comprise the Cayman island Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. The capital city is Georgetown, this is where the cruise ships stop. The majority of the tourist stay in Grand Cayman, as this is where the best shopping and resorts are. Grand Cayman has amazing beaches in fact this is where one of my favourite beach spots are called cemetery beach. It is located behind a cemetery and is very secluded. There is a beautiful coral reef right off the beach. Other things to do here is a turtle sanctuary and a place called hell an area with jagged rock formations.
Grand cayman also has the famous Cayman banks. There is a lot of money coming to this island from all over the world. This is one of the more expensive places to go in the Caribbean, but it is really relaxing. We were able to find some nice local restaurants to eat local foods like roti and curry.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos is a place that dreams are from. Everything you see about this place is super bright white sand on clear blue waters. There are some of the best beaches and resorts on Turks and Caicos. This is a place celebrities travel to and share on social media because of its beauty. The main island and place most of the tourists visit is called Providenciales. This is where the luxury resorts are located. It is very expensive to stay on the island as a lot of the food is imported. The people here are very welcoming to tourist as it is the main economic influence here. Other popular things here are the diving, snorkelling, fishing and island hopping. There are 40 small islands that make up Turks and Caicos.
Read the Turks & Caicos Travel Plan
Grenada is a small island cluster in the Caribbean sea, the islands are spice island and Grenada. One of the major exports from Grenada is nutmeg and this is where a large amount of their economy comes from. Tourism is also huge in Grenada, as their beaches are a beauty. The population here is very small around 100, 000 people and these people are mostly all very friendly to tourist. The country has a good mix of price ranges for resorts and hotels, so most people can afford to go here. The people of Grenada are mostly Creole, and they bring their amazing culinary flavours to the island! Most of the hotels serve some local foods and drinks.
Haiti is located on the west side of Hispaniola island that it shares with the Dominican Republic.It is a Creole french speaking country but most of the locals also speak english, especially in the restaurants. The cruise lines that stop here like Royal Caribbean own land in Haiti that they have created an oasis for vacationers on. We have been to these private areas a few times and they are heavily guarded so that locals do not enter unless they have business there.
The rest of the country has had a bad run in the last few years from major earthquakes to high crime rates and poverty. If you are looking for a safe vacation for your family, this would not be the best place at this time. However the country is very beautiful, with great beaches, diving and snorkelling.
Honduras is located in central America above Nicaragua and beside El-Salvador. One side of the country is on the Caribbean sea and the other is rainforest. It is a spanish speaking country with a huge population of over 9 million people. There is major poitical unrest in Honduras, so I would recommend skipping it. There are violent protests, theft, murder and more happening in Honduras and this has greatly affected tourism. Bothe the U.S and the Canadian governments have travel advisories to Honduras.
Guadeloupe is a Creole French speaking country with 2 main islands. Basse-Terre is the main island that the cruise ships go to; and Grande Terre. The population of Guadeloupe is around 400,000 people. Not many people visit this country and it is not as well know as the other Caribbean islands. The island here are one of 25 Unesco Biosphere sites in the world. The diving here is awesome and so is the local wildlife. When we stopped to this island off of a cruise it was ou
Martinique is a rugged volcanic island known as the island of flowers because its rich soil and beautiful flora. It is located on the Caribbean sea between St Lucia and Dominica. Martinique is a french speaking creole country and is said to be the culinary capital of the Caribbean. The island is safe and beautiful with great beaches and restaurants. You can enjoy diving here as well as sailing and snorkelling. The capital city is Fort de France and this is where the majority of the 350, 000 person population lives on the island.
Aruba is a tiny Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuala with mostly english and Spanish language people. The native language here is called Papiamento, and the population is around 100, 000. It is the driest country in the Caribbean because it gets the least rainfall, however it is easy to cool off on one of the many beaches here. They have an awesome beach called baby beach that is coved off with no waves, perfect for small children. The Aruba main tourist websites represents the country as very family friendly, and that the island is small enough that anything is discoverable.
Curacao is a small island near Aruba in the Caribbean sea north of Venezuela. It is best known for its beautiful beaches and blue water, along with being a popular cruise port. The economy here really depends on tourism, making it a safe place to travel. The food and resorts at this destination are fantastic, however it is little known compared to other Caribbean islands. Because of the major push on tourism, the accommodations here are very reasonable.
The main city Willemstad is where most people go when they are visiting here. One amazing thing about the island is it is off the hurricane belt making it a very safe place to go. It is also close to mainland in case evacuation is needed. The best time to geo here is from may to December.
Saint Martin is a small island in the Caribbean sea split into 2 countries Sint Martin a french speaking country, and Saint Martin the English speaking part. St Martin is a very busy cruise destination, however it does have a small secluded feel to it. They are best known for great beaches, shopping, diving and snorkelling. There is also great hiking on St Martin, with lush forests to explore.
A few years ago St Martin was hit by a major hurricane, but has since fully recovered. The capital of St Martin is Marigot and the population is 40, 000. The main industry is tourism and the people are really nice here. St Martin is a safe country to travel to.
US Virgin Islands
Are a grouping of islands in Caribbean sea, and are part of the Virgin Islands Archipelago. There are 3 major islands here including the main island of St. Croix, where most of the population lives and where most of the tourism occurs. The other islands are also very popular called St John and St Thomas. The US Virgin Islands are known for amazing sailing and live aboard diving. The islands are clustered fairly close together and have very calm waters. There are beautiful beaches here as well as mountains on the island. Most of the island are Afro Caribbean and the food here is a great mix of local and American flavours. The Virgin islands are a popular stop for cruise ships and international sailors.
Read the Virgin Islands Travel Plan
St Lucia is a small eastern Caribbean island made up mostly of Afro Caribbean people. This another popular cruise stop as they have amazing beaches close to the cruise port as well as shopping and dining. The last time we were there we enjoyed some of the best snorkelling and diving the Caribbean sea has to offer. The country has mid sized mountains on it and there are roads carved up all the way to the summit giving spectacular picture opportunities at the top.
The beaches are full service and have food vendors and ice cold drinks readily available. The pricing to do things like excursions or dining is very reasonable on St Lucia. There is minimal crime here, making it a very safe place for anyone to visit. There are a couple of all inclusive’s on the island, but most accommodations are regular hotels. Sailing and Yachting is also very popular here, and you can even ride horses on the beach!
St Vincent is located between Grenada and St Lucia with a population of of around 100, 000 people. Most of the people here are Afro Caribbean as well as some West Indian people. St Vincent is a large Volcanic island and that gives it exquisite topography in the form of mountain jungle and elevated beaches. The Volcanic mountain here is partially submerged in the ocean.St Vincent is a popular cruise destination and is very safe to travel to. The main industry here is tourism, so service and getting around is simple. There are many resorts on the island catering to all price ranges and people. St Vincent is a quiet island not really known for large parties, although they do celebrate carnival here.
Is a tiny island in the Caribbean sea near Guadeloup and Antigua. Montesserat has an active volcano on it that erupted years ago causing major damage to the countryside and wiping out an entire town. There is great hiking on the island as it has a lush rainforest on it with many trails. Some of the popular things to do here are diving and fishing. It is a much lesser know Caribbean island. Plymouth is the capital city and the people are french speaking Creole. I can’t say that I would recommend this island for any reason, there are beaches here but are not white sand like many of the other Caribbean islands. The cruise ships do not visit here, and their resorts are nothing to mention.
Puerto Rico is a US Spanish speaking country located in the Caribbean. This is a very popular vacation destination as there is a rich diverse culture here mixed between Spanish and Black. The beaches in Puerto Rico are beautiful and they have restaurants right on the beach. Puerto Rico has huge castle like lookouts over the ocean with old canons on it that tourist like to frequent. There is great hiking here, restaurants, casinos and large resorts. The major industry here is tourism and it is very safe. There is also a rich music and dance scene here and have concerts and music festivals for entertainment.The population as of 2019 is around 3.3 million.
Anguilla is an small island located near St Martin in the Caribbean sea, offshore the are several islets that make up the land mass. The population here is very small around 15,000. Anguilla has been voted the #1 island in the Caribbean for its fantastic beaches and resorts. Tourism is the main business here and the people are friendly to tourist. Anguilla has great snorkelling and diving as their reefs are untouched and clean. It is one of the more expensive islands to stay with an average stay costing as much as $400 per night.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are famous for their overall beauty, with beaches with soft white sand and crystal clear blue water. The main island known as Tortola, and this is home to the capital city road town. There are 60 islands in the stretch of the British Virgin islands each with different characteristics. Some of these islands have large reefs around them perfect for snorkelling and diving. One of the fun things to do here are to island hop and do day trips to these islands.
Also known as the BVI, it is a sailing and yacht dream destination, with sailors flying in from all over the world to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of the island. BVI has all of the amenities someone would want in a luxury destinations like world class dining, top notch resorts and picturesque surroundings.
St Bats is a tiny Caribbean island known for its white sand beaches and high end shops. Upon arrival you will notice yachts and sailboats in the harbour. This island caters to high end tourism from all over the world. It is famous for colonial houses, water sports and Iguana’s! St Barts is very safe for tourist as this is the main economy here, however it can be very expensive.
St Kitts & Nevis
Is a dual island nation sandwiched between the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea. The capital city is Basseterre and is famous for great beaches and shopping. It has a cruise port and thousands of cruising visitors come to the island every month, feeding the tourism industry.St Kitts offers scuba diving, hiking, snorkelling, high end restaurants and sailing.
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Common Questions about the Caribbean
What are the Caribbean Islands?
The Caribbean is an area in between north America and South America located on the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean. It is comprised of around 700 island ant 30 countries.
What is the Safest Caribbean Island?
The absolute safest Caribbean island is the US Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands. There is a lot on money on these island, so there is a lot less poverty. With less poverty comes less scams, robberies and kidnapping. As tourism and the local expats are fuelling the economy, they have hired a strong police force to ensure the safety of their guests. The US Virgin island follows the same safety standards for food and beverage as the rest of the United States, so you don’t have to worry about the food. And the tours are also safety checked unlike most countries.
Where is the Caribbean?
The Caribbean is located south east of the Gulf of Mexico, South of the United States and north of South America. Located smack dab in the middle of the Caribbean sea.
What is the largest Caribbean island?
The largest Caribbean island is Cuba, with a land mass of 106,000 square Km.
How Many Islands are in the Caribbean?
There are a total of 7000 island in the Caribbean sea and 30 Island Countries.
What is the best Caribbean island to visit?
The best Caribbean island to visit for a first timer is the Bahamas. Our reasoning for this, is that it is very easy to navigate, it is safe, it is clean and it is beautiful. The main airport in the Bahamas is in the main city, and so is the cruise port. When you get off the plane or boat there will be a large tourism area that will tell you all of the sites and tours you can go on. Everyone that comes through here goes to Atlantis just to see it and a beach. These are the first things you should do in the Bahamas.
There is a lot to do in the Bahamas for all types of people. Families will do the beaches and restaurants. Seniors may want to take in the air conditioned massive casino and the restaurants. Couples love the romance of the white sand beaches and children will love the waterparks.
What Caribbean islands are dangerous?
Honduras is very dangerous to visit with its political unrest, Haiti is dangerous because of poverty, violence and natural disasters, Trinidad is dangerous because it is the kidnapping capital of the Caribbean, and Jamaica is Dangerous because of political unrest and poverty.
Should I take a Caribbean cruise?
Yes Caribbean cruises are amazing for most age groups. They have lots of entertainment for kids including pools, mini golf, game rooms, ice rinks and much more. For adults they have the best dining you can find, live bands, Las Vegas style shows and Casinos and nightclubs.
Is there Zika Virus in the Caribbean?
Yes there is the danger of Zika virus on some Caribbean islands. Here are some links to the centre for disease control so that you can get all of the updated information you need before travelling to the Caribbean. The Caribbean: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Barbados; Bonaire; British Virgin Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Haiti; Jamaica; Montserrat; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory; Saba; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Eustatius; Sint Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; US Virgin Islands
What is better Western or Eastern Caribbean?
This is depending on what countries you want to visit. I have been on both cruises, and they have both been amazing. The best thing to do is to choose the countries you would like to visit and find a cruise that goes here.
What Caribbean Island has the best food?
I would have to say Guyana, Trinidad or Jamaica. Guyana and Trinidad have Indian influenced food fused with Afro Caribbean Food including curries, rotis. Jamaica has famous jerk Chicken, Oxtail and beef patties!
Which Caribbean island have the nicest people?
You will find some of the nicest people on the Virgin islands as well as Turks and Caicos.
What Caribbean island is the cleanest?
The cleanest Caribbean island is Anguilla, and the Cayman islands as these countries cater to some of the wealthiest people in the world.
Which Caribbean island is the cheapest?
The cheapest Caribbean islands are Cuba, the Dominican republic
What is the richest Caribbean Island, 5 richest islands?
US Virgin Island, British Virgin island, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and the Cayman islands.
Caribbean Islands Map | Country Map
My name is Sean Rampersaud, my family and I are travelling the world writing and taking video of our experiences. My wife is Radika and my 2 kids are Rayden and Natasha. We want to help improve our readers lives in some way, and have a large private group of travellers we like to work with. You can join our group by leaving your email. Please comment below if you have any questions. If you found this informative please share it. We provide our community free travel tools that will make your lives way easier when you travel including free travel plans, and a custom itinerary builder! Join us today. If you are interested in how we make money while we travel email me or reply with you name and email at email@example.com.
HERE IS A LINK TO A VIDEO ON HOW TO TEACH KIDS TO SWIM.